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The last few weeks have been relatively serious. And this one really could be a serious topic, but it probably is going to come off a bit more comical than contemplative.

Breeding. It’s part of living. 1 + 1 = 1. And in really sticky cases, 1 + 1 = 2 or 3 or 4.  Or, A + B = C. Animals do it. Plants do it. Humans do it. But should there be a limit on it? I’m not necessarily talking the Chinese theory of 1-child/household. But if A + B = a bad combination, shouldn’t somebody tell the poor people to stop?

Case in point. Many years ago, I knew a family. Mother, Father, oldest son, oldest daughter, youngest daughter, youngest son. I knew them all in their adulthood, for the most part. Oldest Son was mentally challenged. To the degree that I could tell, I believe that they were aware of this by the time Oldest Daughter was conceived. But, luckily, next 3 children were born with all mental faculties (as far as anyone could tell).

However, Oldest Daughter came out with a painfully disfigured nose. Who knew that 2 normal-nosed people could produce a plastic surgeon’s dream patient? Well, Youngest Daughter came along with the same nose. And Mother and Father went on for round 4.

I understand that certain religions make family-size planning a bit difficult, but at some point, you have to realize that your genetic makeup may not be a match made in heaven with the love of your life’s genes.

I think back to a recent West Michigan news story about a family who had 3 or 4 (young) children all with the same usually fatal [heart?] condition. … and they knew about this condition since child 1’s birth. So why risk bringing another child into this world to suffer like the first? And if 2 has it, then you are basic caste in concrete for producing more like this, so again, I ask… why keep going?

Let’s face it: some genetic combinations produce good results. Mr. and Mrs. McConaughey, I applaud you for having a son. Goldie and Kurt, you two did good, too.  Mr. and Mrs. Manning, thank you for a team full of sons.

But let’s be honest… not all of us will actually be adding anything desirable to the gene pool. At 2 distinct points in my life (college and law school), I listened to 2 different guy friends explain what a “breeder” is – someone who is genetically desirable and will (hopefully) produce good, strong results with your genes. Because I wear contacts, college guy explained that is a less desirable quality and weighs negatively for a prospective breeder. It sort of all goes back to survival of the fittest… and each of these guys expressed as elementary a belief to me: that mating (in their eyes) really was simply about finding a strong candidate to combine genes with.

When you break it down that way, wouldn’t you think that our gene pool would be crystal clear and sparkling right now?

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One thought on “Breeding (or, Draining the Gene Pool)

  1. Pingback: Housekeeping « Thursday Morning Meditations

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